Want to lessen your chances of cancer? Keep moving!
Yes: Consistent physical exercise may be the king of the cancer killers, according to a yuuuge new meta-analysis from the National Cancer Institute. Researchers sifted through 12 studies on 1.4 million Americans and Europeans and found that those who worked out the most had a 10–20% reduction in three of the four most common cancers in the U.S.—lung, breast, and colon and rectal cancer—along with myeloma, head and neck cancers, and bladder cancer.
And, amazingly, the researchers found that these avid exercisers had a greater than 20% reduction in esophageal, liver, lung, kidney, stomach, and endometrial cancer, and myeloid leukemia as well. Gallbladder cancer, small intestine cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma showed a lowering of risk, too.
Another shocking, “Gotta get exercising!” fact to come out of the study: Subjects with the highest activity levels (that is, in the top 10% of all participants) improved their odds against getting the 13 cancers regardless of their BMI (body mass index) or smoking habits.
How often do you need to work out to give cancer the slip? Study head Steven Moore, Ph.D., recommends at least seven hours of brisk walking per week.